Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE -

DR Ian Hulme, clin­i­cal lead for men­tal health at NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG and GP with Mead­ow­side Med­i­cal Cen­tre, Con­gle­ton MEN­TAL Health Aware­ness Week takes place from May 8 to 14. It is or­gan­ised by the Men­tal Health Foun­da­tion, which wants us to recog­nise that good men­tal health is more than the ab­sence of a prob­lem – it’s about thriv­ing, not sur­viv­ing.

Ac­cord­ingly the foun­da­tion is pro­mot­ing steps we can take to look af­ter our men­tal health, build­ing re­silience to cope with life’s de­mands.

For great ad­vice on men­tal well­be­ing, visit­tal­ and search for “Men­tal Health Aware­ness Week.” Al­ter­na­tively, you may wish to visit the NHS Choices web­site at www. and search for ‘Men­tal Health’.

Here at the CCG we take men­tal well­be­ing very se­ri­ously, recog­nis­ing that one in four of us will ex­pe­ri­ence a men­tal health prob­lem at some stage in our lives.

We spend nearly £40m a year on men­tal health in sup­port of our am­bi­tion to im­prove the healthre­lated qual­ity of life of peo­ple with men­tal health con­di­tions, and we’re work­ing hard to im­prove ac­cess to psy­cho­log­i­cal ther­a­pies for peo­ple with more se­ri­ous men­tal health prob­lems.

Th­ese ser­vices are pro­vided by Cheshire and Wir­ral Part­ner­ship NHS Foun­da­tion Trust, and we’ve re­duced their wait­ing list by designing a new ser­vice for peo­ple with low to moder­ate symp­toms of stress, anx­i­ety or de­pres­sion.

Launched in Fe­bru­ary, the new ser­vice is called Talk­ing Ther­a­pies and is be­ing pro­vided by a part­ner­ship be­tween the Big Life group and Peaks & Plains Hous­ing Trust.

The Big Life group is of­fer­ing clin­i­cal sup­port in con­ve­nient com­mu­nity set­tings across Eastern Cheshire, rather than in clin­ics, while Peaks & Plains is work­ing with Age UK Cheshire East and The Dove Ser­vice to help peo­ple with is­sues that can cause or worsen men­tal health prob­lems. Ex­am­ples in­clude money wor­ries, re­la­tion­ship prob­lems or so­cial iso­la­tion.

This in­no­va­tive ap­proach looks at the whole per­son – not just their men­tal health is­sue – and is fo­cused as much on pre­ven­tion as cure.

This ap­proach is in line with what ser­vice users, mem­bers of the public and health­care pro­fes­sion­als told us they wanted.

Peo­ple can self-re­fer to Talk­ing Ther­a­pies or be re­ferred by their GP, recog­nis­ing that the GP prac­tice is the first port of call for most peo­ple need­ing sup­port for their men­tal health and well­be­ing.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.the­biglife­group. com and search for ‘talk­ing ther­a­pies Eastern Cheshire’.

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